A New Makeup Discovery- Kiko


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Whilst on holiday recently I stumbled across a shop so beautifully laid out that I had no choice but to go in! Kiko is a brand that I hadn’t heard much about, but it is so competitively priced that I thought I would try out a few of their makeup items. When I say competitively priced, what I actually mean is downright affordable, and good quality as well!

In addition to the compulsory purchases for my mother (I always get her a few “bits” when I’m away), I picked up 3 of their eyeshadow sticks, 2 lipglosses, a blusher and makeup bag.


Eyeshadow sticks have become a real staple in my makeup bag, as I can achieve a “well put together” makeup look in seconds, which is all the time I have in the mornings! The Kiko Shadow Sticks (pictured in 06,05 and 36) are real winners for me, with their long wearing, highly pigmented formula. 06 is a gold shade, 05 a bronze taupe and 36 a deep pink. If you want to blend them out to give a lighter wash of colour I would suggest working quickly, as they really do set into place.

The Tri-Bal Soul Baked Blush, pictured in 03 Wild Mauve, has a slight iridescence that gives a lovely luminosity to the skin. The wooden packaging is also beautiful, with a magnetised lid and mirror inside. Not very travel friendly though I must say!

I’m not usually a liploss kind of girl, as I am not a fan of having my hair stick to my mouth. The 3D Instant Volume Lipglosses are in my opinion, mediocre, as they are a little sticky for my taste and I have seen no additional volume in my lips. The colour selection is however comprehensive and I will endeavour to use them. Pictured are shades 219, which is a fushia pink, and 221 which is a lighter pink with subtle gold shimmer.

The makeup bag for those of you who are wondering, comes as a set of 2 (one large, one small). In all honesty I bought it because it was pink and I was in quite the spendy mood!

What are your favourite Kiko products? I was quite tempted by the mascara…




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I have spent the last week feeling very sorry for myself, stuck at home with a chest infection. When I’m unwell there are always a few things that I like to do to pamper myself. Long, relaxing, soaks in the bath are one of these things, so I made a large Lush order of my favourite items and looked forward to its arrival.

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Pictured are bath bombs: Big Blue, Butterball, Sakura and the Rose Queen. Bubble bars are: A French Kiss and Amandopondo and also It’s Raining Men shower gel.
In addition to the bath items, which never disappoint, I thought that I would give the Ultrabland cleanser a try and also a fresh face mask. First impressions of the cleanser are that it is a lovely, simple, cream cleanser which leaves my skin feeling well nourished. It is however, the fresh face mask that has really stood out. Not usually one for face masks, I find them a little time consuming, the Ayesha mask has left my tired, sick skin, bright, lifted and moisturised. My husband laughed at the sight of me covered in a dark green mush, but who is he to judge! A few days on my skin feels balanced and cared for and I am looking forward to using it again.

How do you pamper yourself when your unwell?

Oliver’s wife.

How to: Build a Fireplace


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After beginning to decorate our bedroom, my husband and I decided that we wanted to put a fireplace back onto the chimney breast. We searched high and low for one that suited our decor but that was also reasonably priced, and after a great deal of frustration my husband decided to build one himself. The idea was quite daunting to me but it proved to be quite straightforward and cost less than £50!

What you will need:
18mm MDF in the following sizes-
Mantel- 185mm x 1150mm (x2)
Leg front- 180mm x 1015mm (x2)
Leg sides- 95mm x 1015mm (x4)
Bridge- 690mm x 200mm (x1)
Under bridge- 95mm x 690mm (x1)
3mm hardboard
L brackets or strip wood
Wood glue
Architrave quadrants for detailing

1. Using wood glue stick the two mantel pieces together and secure for drying with wood clamps;
2. To make the legs- take two of the 95×1015 pieces and fix to the leg front piece with L brackets or strip wood. Screw from the inside so that the screws aren’t visible- repeat for second leg;
3. Join the two legs by fixing the bridge in to place with either brackets or strip wood (be careful when moving it around because without the mantel it is fragile);
4. Fix in the under bridge piece;
5. Fix the mantel on to the top with L brackets;
6. Detail to taste- we took two squares out of the left over mdf (180×180) and secured with wood glue at the base of the legs. At the top of these pieces we secured architrave quadrants (1x18mm 1x9mm). We also added 9mm architrave quadrants at the base of the bridge (2 stuck together);
7. Sand and round all edges to taste;
8. Paint;
9. Secure to the desired wall with batons on the inside of the legs and screw into place;
10. Fill and paint over the screws;
11. Cut a piece of 3mm hardboard to fit the internal space;
12. Paint with blackboard paint;
13. Glue into place.

B&Q provide a free timber cutting service so you can simply give them the required measurements and they will do all of the hard work!

Depending on the size of fireplace that you require, you can just adjust our measurements.

If you have any questions please leave me a comment.

Happy building!

Oliver’s wife

Adding Character to your Home


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As is always the case, opinions are divided on what constitutes “character”. I sit on the traditional side of the fence, and find the prospect of adding or re-introducing character exciting, whether that’s in more modern homes or in older properties that have had features removed over time.

There are a number of things that can be done quite easily to add characterful features.

Fit a ceiling rose:

Whether it’s simple or decorative, a ceiling rose is a low cost way of adding a bit of grandeur to a light fitting and they are extremely easy to fit- usually only requiring a Stanley knife and some adhesive.

Picture rails, dado rails and skirting boards:

These can add elegant detail to a room and the deeper skirting boards make a nice change to the more modern ones.
Most building merchants will stock these and can also make moulds to suit your taste exactly.

Build a fire place:

Whether you have a chimney breast with no fire or you would like to add a focal point, building a fire place can really transform a room. They can easily be made with mdf for less than £50! If you are interested in how to make one (my husband made the one pictured), I will be posting a “how to” soon.

What other things do you think add character?

Oliver’s wife.

Home Decor Trends 2015


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With a new year comes a whole host of new and exciting home decor trends. I have picked out 5 of my favourite so far!

1. Cowhide- Natural materials are extremely popular and the cowhide rug has become a firm favourite of many designers. It has the ability to add warmth to a room whilst also looking very stylish.

2. Blue- An array of blues are making an appearance, from traditional denim colours to the very deep, this calming colour looks beautiful as an accent.

3. Books- Although we may not read in the traditional way anymore, books in the home look absolutely fantastic. Whether that’s in a library room, on a bookcase or on the coffee table.

4. Texture- The mixing of textures and patterns is back with a bang, and I love how nothing is off limits.

5. Gallery picture walls- Creating a picture wall adds personality and style to a room, with very little effort. Whether you opt for hanging directly on the wall, or displaying on picture shelves, it can add a real focal point.

What are your favourite trends?

Oliver’s wife

Best Home Buys 2014


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With 2015 just around the corner I thought that I would reflect on my best home buys of 2014. My husband and I have gotten into the habit of writing a home to-do list at this time of year, and we have been fortunate enough to have completed nearly everything on this years list. It’s not just the major changes that make a real difference to a home, sometimes it is the small things, or the “finishing touches”.

These are my stand out purchases:

Chandelier- B&Q
I searched high and low for the perfect chandelier for our newly decorated bedroom, and stumbled across this one in B&Q. Not only was it exactly what I was looking for, it was a real bargain.

Bed- John Lewis
I am very picky when it comes to beds, which meant that one of our spare bedrooms remained empty for 18 months. This bed was a great price and brilliant quality.

Solid wood doors- Norman Piette
Good quality doors make a real difference and I am hoping to eventually replace all of the doors in the house with solid wood.

Cow hide rug- local retailer
Not to everyone’s taste, I love how this rug brings the room together. It is also incredibly easy to clean.

Cast iron log basket- local retailer
This log basket adds a lovely warmth to the room, and the contents can be changed with each season.

Happy New Year!

Oliver’s wife



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A benefit of having my birthday in December is that it gets wrapped up in Christmas festivities, which I absolutely love! This year my parents very kindly took the hubby and I to London for 4 days, arranging for us to have afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason and see Matilda on the West End.

As a coeliac, trips away always cause slight apprehension for both me and my family, who can become quite protective. London however is well equipped, and there are definite perks when you are served your own gluten free afternoon tea! Fortnum and Mason did an absolutely amazing job in catering for me, whilst also introducing me to the macaroon (something I have never really been interested in, but now realise the error of my ways).
Whilst away I of course did an obscene amount of shopping. With many brands not available in Guernsey, department stores are an absolute dream, in particular their beauty departments. Despite the crowds of people in Liberty, James at the Hourglass counter was absolutely fantastic, taking the time to explain which products would suit my very pale skin, and also saying which ones wouldn’t work for me. His honesty and expertise made a real change from the sometimes pushy beauty staff, and I of course came away with more than I had intended.
[Ambient Lighting Powder- Ethereal Light][Ambient Lighting Blush- Ethereal Glow]
Matilda was absolutely fantastic, but the unexpected highlight of the trip was the Paddington film, which we watched at the Vue Cinema (Regent Street). The cinema itself was by far the best that we have ever been to, and the film was so good that my father achieved the impossible, and stayed awake for the whole thing.

London was bustling, at times we were unable to move more than a few feet, but doesn’t that add to its beauty? It certainly made me feel festive…

Oliver’s wife.



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As we began taking down crumbling wall units and pulling up carpet, we realised that the floor had a distinctive bounce to it. Always the calmer of the two of us, my husband assured me that it was nothing to worry about and proceeded to remove the plywood. What greeted us below was far from ideal, with the joists being both rotten and spaced too far apart. Luckily for us the problem wasn’t too difficult to remedy, just more time consuming then we had hoped, and my husband set to work on replacing all of the joists and spacing them appropriately.
As the ceiling came down and plaster off the walls I despaired a little at the building site that we were confronted with. The additional work that had to be done did however allow us to rethink our plans slightly, and we decided to turn the internal window into a large door opening and block up the original door, thereby creating a much better through-way into the adjoining orangery.
Choosing the décor is where I come in! The disadvantage to living on a small Island is that it can sometimes be very difficult to get hold of items that you see in magazines or online. I had already decided that I wanted a bright green glass splash-back for behind the oven, but with this near impossible to source, we used our imagination and placed a clear piece of glass over a meticulously painted green square. The advantage to this is that if we get bored of green, we can re-paint the square to any colour we fancy.

The kitchen units and tiles are all from B&Q, with a Rangemaster oven and extractor hood. I swear that once you have had one of these ovens you can never go back!
A valuable lesson in all of this is that setbacks can actually enable you to tweak your design for the better. Although I would never admit it to my husband, I was grateful for the delays!

Oliver’s wife

Famous last words…


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We moved into this house in July 2013 and decided that we would live in it as it was for a while to get a feel for it. As is always the case, I became a little (!) impatient and we decided to take on the kitchen as our first project. Naively, we didn’t think that the kitchen would be too much work. Yes it was outdated and needed a complete re-fit and plaster, but otherwise the room was in pretty good condition.
The old kitchen looked as though it was fitted in the 1980’s, complete with a very fetching blue carpet! From the day we moved in the fridge and oven never worked properly and the cupboards were crumbling and musty. After a great deal of deliberation over floor plans, kitchen units and appliances we were ready to get started and began ripping out the old to make way for the new. Unfortunately though, we were in for a surprise…

Oliver’s wife